Inside qualitative, cross-national research: Making methods transparent in a EU housing study

Deborah Quilgars, Marja Elsinga, Anwen Jones, Janneke Toussaint, Hannu Ruonavaara, Paivi Naumanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the last decade there has been a significant growth in comparative, cross-national research and recognition of its potential significance in responding to globalisation pressures. A range of methodological approaches have been documented. However, whilst a growing literature exists on undertaking comparative research generally, less has been published on the experiences of undertaking qualitative research in a cross-national context, particularly in social and housing policy. Qualitative research provides opportunities to gain more detailed understandings of behaviour, attitudes and experiences across countries, but it also raises some of the greatest challenges with respect to interpreting data. This article utilises an eight nation study on housing security and insecurity to make transparent some of the key issues raised in qualitative, cross-national work, including the selection of locations and interviewees, interviewing and analysing material within an institutional context. It argues that further critical sharing of research accounts is required in this important area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-31
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • qualitative methods
  • comparative
  • cross-national
  • housing
  • Europe

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